Texas Comptroller Susan Combs – with the support of Governor Perry – wants the state to spend $250 million to subsidize the Formula One racetrack slated to be built in Austin.
Texas is currently grappling with a “budget shortfall estimated to be as high as $27 billion over the next two years.”
Some legislators are fighting back. From the Fox article:
State Sen. Dan Patrick, a conservative Republican from Houston, recently spearheaded a vote against the funding in the finance committee. “This is not something we should be doing. How can you justify spending $25 million [annually for 10 years]? That is 500 teachers,” he said.
Combs’ office justifies this because:
“It’s revenue-neutral,” [Combs spokesman Allen] Spelce told FoxNews.com. “It could potentially even bring in more money.”
Translated into plain English: “We’re going to gamble with tax money from people who will never attend a race – canning 500 teachers in the process – so that a few special people can watch fancy cars go in circles. But hey, our rich developer friends will thank us…you saps.”
Others claim this project won’t pay for itself, much less “bring in more money.” Richard Viktorin, with the Texas advocacy group Audits in the Public Interest, said: “Formula One’s numbers as to economic activity created are outrageously overstated.”
The article also notes that “Formula One in the U.S. went on hiatus in 2007” due to lack of interest.
Call your representatives today.